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Sat March 17, 2012
Bruce Springsteen, 'Wrecking Ball'
This week on Cyprus Avenue, a new release from The Boss.
Bruce Springsteen released his latest album, Wrecking Ball, earlier this year. Though he had been writing the songs for it prior to last fall, he has said it is inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. That inspiration is very apparent on what is probably Springsteen's most political album yet.
The title song of the album, "Wrecking Ball," has for its unlikely narrator the former Giants Stadium, which was torn down in 2010. In the song, that symbolic subject embodies the values and ambitions of middle-class Americans. Their struggle during the current recession is invoked throughout the album. Springsteen also takes on the "1%," condemning Wall Street big wigs and bankers in songs like "Easy Money." The second half of the album is more hopeful than the first, ending on an encouraging note with "We Are Alive."
Springsteen has been a sort of rock'n'roller of the working class for decades. However, on this album, he steers away from the paired-down style which he has lately embraced, and which is the traditional style of America's political singer-songwriters (think Pete Seeger). Springsteen worked with producer Ron Aniello to incorporate new elements from a variety of genres, like hip-hop, gospel, and country into this album. He adeptly pulls these in to the E-Street Band sound. The late Clarence Clemons can be heard playing his sax on "Wrecking Ball" and "Land of Hope and Dreams."
Some praise Springsteen for this high-profile statement about the recession, while others think it is too heavy-handed, or not explicit enough. Whatever the verdict, the album has sold fast and the Wrecking Ball Tour is off to a raving start.
We Take Care of Our Own
Shackled and Drawn
Jack of all Trades
Land of Hope and Dreams